Nail Your Problems to the Cross

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Beth Livingston

paper with word shame on it nailed to the wood

Once every 12 weeks in our recovery group, we name what we need victory over in our lives. We write this name on a thin, small piece of paper. Then, one by one, we take a hammer and a nail and nail that piece of paper to the wooden cross in our meeting place. There is something powerful and moving that happens as we nail our problems to the cross. As I pound that nail, I understand that Jesus was nailed to the cross for that problem. He died so that I could be free.

I also can’t help but think about the actual day that Jesus Christ was brutally placed on the cross at Calvary. He had been falsely accused, treated like a criminal, arrested, beaten, mocked, spit on, and nailed to a cross where he suffered and died. (See Luke 22-23) . I also feel sorrow when I nail that word describing my problem to the cross. It’s almost like I am helping to nail Jesus to the cross myself. He didn’t create this problem in my life but He’s willing to take the nail for it.

Some of us in recovery have also been arrested and treated like criminals. The HUGE difference between Christ’s experience and ours is that He had done NOTHING to deserve the mistreatment. He spent 33 years on this earth and never sinned, never did anything “unholy” or questionable. Yet, here he was – being treated like one of the world’s most dangerous, despicable criminals. Why?

Why didn’t he stand up for justice, demand that his torturers be bound and thrown into hell, and call all the angels from heaven to bring a holy showdown there at Calvary? The answer is simple – so that all mankind would have the opportunity to be forgiven and turn from their sins and spend eternity with Him in Heaven. He was murdered for all our sins, all our addictions, all our poor choices – so we wouldn’t have to be. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jesus Christ paid for our problems with his life. He gives us power from on high to defeat sin in our lives. Romans 6:10-11 says, “When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ.”

So, when I nail my shame to the cross, I am going to leave it there. I’ve been given power over it through my faith in Jesus Christ. He is the victor over my sin and shame. I don’t have to walk in it any longer. I consider myself dead to that problem and alive through Christ.

What would you nail there today? Take every step you can to get free.

Copyright © 2011, 2019 Beth Livingston, used with permission. 

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